Assume Crash Positions! It’s a FEELING!!

The title pretty much describes my outlook on life. Anxiety? DUCK AND COVER! Depression? THE WORLD IS ENDING. Fear? OMG IT’S A DISASTER! Brace yourselves, at any time a feeling could come and assault your perfectly sculpted life!

You never know if today will bring…

An unexpected bill…
A communication misunderstanding…
“She loves me, she loves me not” in a friendship…
A reminder of how f%$ed up my childhood was…

Or other sundry reminders that WHAT? FEELINGS HAPPEN? and life is not without them. It could even occur from something such as a quick glance at my planner. I mean, let’s be honest, that’s pretty much a cue for an instant heart attack.

To me, feelings are as dangerous as a hail of bullets, and they seem to assault me in a similar fashion. Even the terms I use to refer to my feeling state are quite revealing. Like I said to my therapist yesterday about an instance that happened last year…

“It was a DISASTER.”

I instantly stopped, laughed at myself, and realized that I equate feelings with “disaster.”  Like this past Saturday at my homegroup. I started crying profusely because TOO MANY FEELINGS. The overwhelming experience of everything I was feeling then caused flashbacks of being shot at. That’s how dangerous my feelings appear to be. That also assumes that I can’t control my feelings. They are coming at me and I can do nothing about them.

But now I’ve thankfully gotten a chance to step outside of all that and I can see the truth.

A feeling is only a FEELING. It doesn’t have the power to kill me. I am not going to get shot at or assaulted by feeling feelings. I am not bad if I am feeling a feeling. I can just feel it, and move on. It doesn’t mean anything is wrong with me. It just means I am human.

I know it sounds elementary, but I am finally just getting this at a heart level. As an addict, I’ve avoided feelings for years while simultaneously being driven by them. It takes a lot to unwind the old way of doing things. I’m used to: “Oh no! I feel a feeling! SOMETHING IS WRONG WITH ME!!! I had better take a drink/talk to a boy and drown that out now, because feelings are BAD, BAD, BAD. And if I am feeling them I must be BAD, BAD, BAD.”

This realization is a brand new thing for me, too. It was yesterday that this clicked – during therapy, of course. One of my therapist’s favorite sayings is a sarcastic, “Well, it’s only a FEELING.” And after my babbling beginning (seriously, I babble at the start of EVERY session) he said, in amusement, “You really hate feeling things, don’t you?” After dealing with that idea the whole session, I left a new woman with a new perspective.

Today has been full of interesting moments. “Wow. I am anxious. Really anxious. Want to crawl under a rock and hide forever anxious. I want to freak out. But this is just a feeling, Laurie. Just a feeling. It’s okay. You’re not going to die from anxiety.

It’s weird.

But everything seems much more manageable this way. Here’s hoping I can hang on to this brave new world where FEELINGS aren’t actually lethal.

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4 Replies to “Assume Crash Positions! It’s a FEELING!!”

  1. Ha ha…took me time to get that too. Still have to remember that sometimes. I catch myself falling victim to my feelings, same as when I fall victim to my thoughts – they don’t mean anything. Not to discount all feelings – love and fear are the two basic feelings that all others flow from – so I am not a robot. But I have to sift through and realize that they are not my true reality at times. Like you said, feelings can’t kill. But when we succumb to them, we get in a state where we*feel* threatened and our bodies and minds react accordingly. Anxiety, worry, fear, nervousness, terror, depression, etc.

    you’re onto something very important here, Laurie, and I applaud you for getting it.

    Blessings,
    Paul

    1. That’s a great way to put it – sifting through. Sorting out which ones to hang onto for a bit, and which ones need some readjusting. I’m going to keep that in mind; I am not into the “robot” thing either. 🙂
      Thinking of you today Paul – sent up some prayers for you on my way in to work. Peace to you!

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